Friday, October 20, 2006

Travel Pics

Sunset on deck 9.

Deck 11. Two swimming pools and an open air bar.

Deck 11 again - on the day we arrived. First time travelling the sea.

Someone on his balcony. Background: Geneva.

Midnight snacks. (Don't ask - not a single dish got finished!)

Malta. And: Sania.

Shop in Malta.

Relaxing in Valencia with our perfect tour guide: Paz. Having some local refreshment. (Well, Vodka/Orange it seems.)

Welcome to Tunisia. They seem to have a different language down there.

The nerdcrew. (Still in Tunisia.)

Overwhelmed by meaning. God almighty, stand by me!

"Captain's Dinner", last night of the cruise. "He" came down and had dinner with us. What's not shown is the Asian guy throw*ng up right next to our table. Well - it was a cruise!

London now. A night down the pub with "the boys".

Cambridge/England. Scenic street.

Visiting a proper English pub. Cheers!

Showing off my birthday presents. Nice, I must say.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

8 Countries on 3 Continents Come Next

Yes, extended travelling time ahead which will bring me to a couple of countries (8) and continents (3) within three weeks. The plan is outlined above ("theory") - check back for pictures and stories to be told ("practice"). - Andreas

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

India Pictures Online

Well well, I made it to India and back ... I've seen more people than ever before in my life, survived the Monsoon in Bombay and made my way through Bangalore. Some pictures can now be found here:

Only minor problems with my digestive system to report - never listen to those damn tourist guides, it's all rubbish in there...

Take care and enjoy the pictures,

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Trip to India - Mumbai/Pune/Bangalore are coming

The first two weeks of August will bring me to India - several reasons, among them work-related and world-related ones. Watch this space for news, photos and information on how long it takes to mess up my digestive system.

Take care,

Venice and all the rest

Well well ... summer arrived, the first travel season of the year is over and for now just the proof that I have been away. A couple of impressions of Venice - our hotel (allegedly the one where "Tod in Venedig" by Mann was shot), the Des Bains:

Not bad at all. A nice balcony where Indian cigarettes and Scotch were consumed around midnight in summer nights still warm.

And a little closer:
As you can (or can't) see - situated directly at the beach. Every morning the difficult (or not so difficult) decision: Conference or swimming?

Since I am a useless romantic also an equally useless picture to demonstrate it:

And ... with Zhan (my colleague I am sharing the room at work with) at the waterfront:

We had a two-hour tour showing us St Mark's Square. Since we literally stayed _on the square_ we had enough time to shoot pictures, so, I have indeed been there:

The official section is closed now. There are lots more pictures I have, but ... too intimate, my friends, for this public space ...

Take care,

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Spring is travel time ...

It's been some time since last telling the whole world here about my good and bad deeds at this esteemed Internet location - but trust me, even if tempted I won't start waffling about that now.

Just a short update: The next days will start this year's travel season, bringing me to West Haven, CT, and afterwards to Venice and, finally, to good old Berlin for a couple of days. A new mobile is waiting for me with an integrated camera, so hopefully I will be able to illustrate lots of illustrious moments thereafter... at least something to look forward to after weeks and weeks without much happening here (shame on me!).

Enjoy yourself - and talk to you soon!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

New York

Two weeks ago we (Paz and I) also went to New York for the weekend. Quite unusal not to go to work for a few days, but I got used to it - and I was very grateful actually!! NY is a great place (don't beat me, but I would probably even prefer it over London). Some pictures if you desire:

At Times Square

Quite far up north (around 70th street or so)

Washington Square. Now, isn't that a real man?!

Ground Zero today.

Impressions of Boston

For the last two weeks (ok, now it's already two weeks ago again) Paz was visiting me - she was so kind to send me some of the photos she's taken so here we go (Thanks, Paz!! Not only for that of course):
View across river Charles, towards Boston

View from the Prudential Tower / Restaurant on the 52nd (?) floor

A random (but pretty typical) corner somewhere in Boston

Beacon Hill - Boston's cosy neighbourhood

If A ...
... then B

Hmm, maybe it was a little too much coffee that day?!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

And finally: My new home

Okay, so now it's reality - I am living here:

Don't ask me why this house looks so tilted on the picture, actually it feels quite safe to be here.

What else happened? I had a lovely visitor from Berlin, so I was also tempted to go out a little more than usual. I forgot my keycard for getting into work and promptly received a call about it - that's what being married must be like! So thanks to you my dear visitor, it was a really good time with you.

Work is going fine, somehow I got the flu over the last couple of days. Nothing too dramatic, apples each day should help me survive this difficult situation.

A new home, a new life ...

So finally it happened: I left my top-floor apartment for a new place. And to assure proper documentation of the hotel this is the view out of the window (to the north unfortunately, so not over the river towards Boston, but still some nice impressions of the industrial area):

(view to the left and ...)

view to the right

There was a TV which captured my attention.. eh, only from time to time, very rarely of course... and please watch the painting on the wall (not sure about the artist though)

And unavoidable - Mr Nerd in front of the computer. (Well visible is the twisted spine due to hours sitting in exactly this position.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Saying goodbye ...

... well I found a new room to stay so I'm going to leave my top floor apartment in the next couple of weeks (no haste please!). No more scrambled egg for breakfast (no roast potatoes either - still didn't try them, but should I start now?!), noone washing my towels. Will I die as a bum? Only time will tell.

Funny coincidence when I had a look at my room ronight: My very friendly roomate Cheh (name slightly changed for safety reasons - Cheh, huhu if you are reading this :-) told me that another future flatmate was around as well and was just studying the contract ... well, then I had a closer look at this guy and noticed that I've known him from dinner at a colleagues' place a couple of weeks ago! Increadible how small this world is, or at least the housing market in a place like this ... but trust me, I found a very nice and bright room which is just lacking some decent furniture (actually any furniture at all). Future adventures to be read at this place - where else!

How do you know that you've been staying at your hotel for too long?

Q: How do you know that you've been staying at your hotel far too long?

A: It makes you really happy in the morning that "we" have a new toaster for the bagles.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

"If you don't like the weather in Boston - just wait a minute" OR: Surviving the First Blizzard

I already realized it some time ago: The weather over here in New England is pretty volatile. When I arrived it was 10 degrees plus (Celsius; 50 F) and now it's a few degrees below zero again (25 F or thereabouts).

As a colleague at work told me people over here even coined a phrase for it: "If you don't like the weather in Boston, just wait a minute" - well, the question is only if it gets better or even worse!

Today I had the pleasure to experience one of the extreme weather conditions up here in the northeast of the US, the first Blizzard of 2006. I heard about it in the news, "severe weather alert", but didn't think much of it - I just stuck to the zeroth-order approximation of tomorrow's weather: It's most likely to be just like today! Definitely not true this time though ... not the slightest snow yesterday, but as impartial evidence a picture taken from my hotel room earlier today is shown below:

Wide-angle live stereo view from my hotel room, 12 Feb 2006, 1:12pm EST. Pretty much snow, uh?

So what do we learn from that? Listen to those weather people, sometimes they even get it right!!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Settling in and becoming a good American

Well well - getting up this morning (a bit late as usual) I came to the unavoidable conclusion: I am settling in in the US, slowly but surely, whether I want it or not. Simply due to formal developments (I am now the proud owner of a US BANK ACCOUNT with the Bank of America - but they didn't trust me enough to give me a credit card as well, since I don't have a credit history here ... umpf) but also since I am getting to know my environment better. I accept that there's no New York Times left if I arrive too late for breakfast in the morning, and that there are no sausages for breakfast but just potatoes. (If someone from good ol' Britain is reading this - PLEASE SEND ME SOME BREAKFAST SAUSAGES!! The ones they sold at the Regal would be ideal, but others will do as well.) I know that you microwave bacon before you eat it - my first shot at it was a complete desaster, the bacon was more like chewing gum in my mouth and it took me half an hour to swallow it. (And yes, language is also different, I had a shot at it and I didn't just give it a good old try.)

I am still doing my regular workout (going running at the Charles River) every second day, actually I even got into a certain routine here - leaving work around 6, running, and dinner around seven. Friday night is reserved for pub nights, so not much difference to Britain in this department. Looks like a healthy lifestyle, doesn't it? And trust me - it actually is.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


OK ok, a bit late ... actually I already arrived in the US a couple of days ago, so a quick update on what happened so far ...

Friday, 13 Jan 06

It's time to leave!! Of course I still had to pack my stuff after I got up in the middle of the night, took the flight at 8:20, Berlin-Tegel to Boston-Logan, via Frankfurt.

The nice Novartis people booked a flight in business class of course, but, quite appropriately, the even nicer Lufthansa folks upgraded that even to FIRST CLASS. Means there was someone hanging up my coat when I entered the plane ... they addressed me by my name (but noone told them I am DR Bender ... well, at least nearly ...) and I had some CAVIAR and a nice BED during my flight. In any case: I MADE IT TO BOSTON!!

Saturday / Sunday, 14/15 Jan 06

Time to relax a bit, explore Cambridge. Quite a nice hotel where I am staying - please have a look at this web site for pictures (still need a camera! sorry!):

I am staying on the top floor (16th floor) with quite a nice view over Cambridge (to the north)!

The hotel is quite a pleasant place to be - they have the New York Times and nice breakfast and dinner every day. Since I am not exactly the master of all chefs it was quite a good idea to put me up here ...

(I always wondered why the elevator is so quick until I realized there is no 13th floor ... 12th floor and the next one is the 14th floor. Probably like everywhere here, but in the beginning I was really amused by that.)

Tuesday, 17 Jan 2006

Being a good American I went jogging - of course! Quite a nice path along the river (River Charles) that separates Cambridge from Boston, a skyline of skyscrapers at night ... somehow it looked like this:

When I came back I had a shower ... wearing a nice warm and soft BATHROBE I realized that I actually liked it this way. Still, it was dinner time ... so I had dinner in the hotel restaurant in my bright red bathrobe :-). Anyway, noone killed me, after all we are still in America!

Wednesday, 18 Jan 2006

I just got invited to a cruise on the Mediterranean Sea! - Well ... that's supposed to be a conference but actually a nice cruise along Italy, Spain and Tunisia :-). Just have to find out whether I have time for that as well, but I was quite happy to receive the invitation. If you are also one of those fancy "cheminformaticians" this is the direct link to the cruise website:
- buy a ticket and listen to my groundbreaking talk there (hopefully).